Trevor J. Brown
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Press Release

Press Release - Autumn 2013


Trevor J. Brown – “Aviary Exotica” exhibition


Expectations are soaring for hugely talented artist Trevor J. Brown’s forthcoming solo exhibition that has been three and a half years in the making. Entitled "Aviary Exotica", this, impressively, shall be Trevor’s twelfth solo show and again he has created a multi-layered exhibition which will excite, challenge and intrigue each and every art lover. Trevor has brought together over 70 new artworks which will be shown exclusively for one night only at The Merchant Hotel, Belfast on Friday 18 October 2013.

This new exhibition actively draws in and embraces the viewer with a collection of paintings which splits distinctly into five interlinked themes or vignettes called ‘A Social Celebrity’, ‘Bestiary’, ‘Birdpeople’, ‘Ceremony Ware’ and ‘They Dine By Night’.

‘A Social Celebrity’ is the bold curtain raiser that reflects Trevor’s fascination with the iconic silent movie actress Louise Brooks and the late couture designer Alexander McQueen. A burlesque show of sorts, the first painting ‘Diary Of A Lost Girl’ takes its inspiration from the G.W. Pabst 1929 film classic of the same name. This painting depicts a madam entering the dressing room; the mirror in her hand reflects the partial reflection of a nude. This chapter closes with the set of four ‘Champagne Venus’ works, literal busts framed with foliage representing the four seasons.

‘Bestiary’ holds animals - both expected and unexpected - with two laughing pigs taking centre stage whilst a collection of small expressionistic preparatory paintings of Adam and Eve culminate in the finished painting ‘Dust & Bone’.

‘Birdpeople’, holds the exhibition’s namesake,"Aviary Exotica", is the backbone of the show where sixteen creatures, half man, half bird, have been conceived to play on the idea of dining as they are best appreciated when viewed from below. Exuding a warm glow, they have been painted directly onto gold. The style featured in this theme is a meld between the farmscapes seen in his 2007 ‘Farm & Country’ exhibition and the classical techniques explored in 2010’s ‘au.ton.o.mous’ exhibitions. Being the title series of this exhibition, this section opens with the painting ‘Ortolan’, a six foot canvas representing the choices Alexander McQueen made in a life that burned brightly but only for a very short time. "Aviary Exotica" closes this chapter resting within Trevor’s decorated frame of grotesque masks and stag beetles.

Next up, ‘Ceremony Ware’ introduces a collaboration with young ceramicist Victoria Bentham, its preparation and execution having taken a year and a half. These 20 handmade artisan ceramic pieces were created in a traditional way utilising cutting-edge techniques to create a look that is handcrafted yet modern.

The final vignette entitled ‘They Dine By Night’ opens with ‘Pepper’s Ghost’, another tribute to the short life of designer Alexander McQueen. This depiction reveals a lady entranced by a stag beetle resting on her bosom, her hair tangled in branches that form a cage for another ‘bird person’. The exhibition ends in epic form with ‘The Sea Of Sin’ where the beginning of a feast is witnessed. Nine individuals circle a table draped with the ocean as tablecloth with each sitter showcasing eye-popping detail that mixes symbolism and storytelling on a mammoth 6 foot canvas.

A prolific painter, Trevor’s work ethic stretches back to his upbringing on the family farm in County Tyrone. Over 25 years later and Trevor’s staple disciplines of oil painting and watercolour have been enhanced by the addition of furniture and ceramic pieces to create a singular vision of a multifaceted journey. For Trevor, his drive for creativity has been a curse as well as a blessing. In 2011 the artist underwent treatment for a debilitating back condition that was brought on by the long hours spent creating such detail and scale. Crippling pain, relieved by spinal injections and regular breaks has meant Trevor can only paint for short periods of time. The mere existence of "Aviary Exotica" is a measure of Trevor’s passion for his art. Against all odds he has produced a collection of wealth, breadth and quality from such restrictive conditions.

Trevor’s enthusiasm for art and astounding attention to detail is truly evident throughout this impressive body of work and it is sure to challenge its viewers in the same way that it has challenged Trevor in execution. Each painting within "Aviary Exotica" combines classical style with modern relevance, establishing reality within a surreal setting that incorporates twists that demand thought. Trevor’s passion will hold the imagination of the viewer for hours ensuring "Aviary Exotica" is remembered long after its one-night-only mayfly existence in The Merchant Hotel Belfast this autumn.


Press Release - Summer 2013


Trevor J. Brown – “Hen's Teeth” exhibition


Artist Trevor J. Brown has been a staple in the Irish art scene for over twenty years. He is best known for his highly individual depictions of Irish farming life and rural practices as well as the surrealist portraiture of his most recent exhibitions and both styles of art will be shown at his latest exhibition “Hen's Teeth”, which will take place as part of the Feile an Phobail 25 Festival from 01-10 August 2013 at St Mary’s College on the Fall’s Road in Belfast.

“Hen's Teeth” brings together artworks from Trevor's last two exhibitions, both from his personal archive and creations painted especially for Féile an Phobail 25 that showcase his development as an artist. Some have remained unseen since being originally exhibited; others are being shown publicly for the very first time.

Trevor said: “Féile an Phobail has been in existence around the same length of time that I have been painting and exhibiting my work. When it was established in 1988 it provided a haven and nourishing space for artists in a time when ‘The Troubles’ were the first thing to enter the mind of the watching world - and creativity the last. So I am delighted to be showing as part of the festival.”

From small beginnings in conflict, Féile an Phobail has grown into one of the largest community festivals in Europe. Féile an Phobail is responsible for bringing together contributors from all areas of local and international culture with previous artists including Westlife, Girls Aloud and Damien Dempsey (an electrically charged performance that was Trevor's first experience of The Féile in 2010) and diverse keynote speakers from Ian Paisley, Jr. to Seamus Heaney.

Trevor added: “When the offer to contribute arrived I was immediately attracted by the transformative and educational power of a festival that is both fiercely independent and a successful projection of living culture. The decision to get involved was a quick one. In March 2013 just after completing my twelfth solo exhibition (which is due to be shown later in 2013) I began collecting together an intimate but reflective collection of paintings to act as an introduction rather than a retrospective of 25 years of expression. I hope people enjoy it.”

“Hen's Teeth” is a rare opportunity to see a brief overview of one of the most private and visually arresting artists at work in Ireland today.


Press Release - Autumn 2010


Trevor J. Brown – “au·ton·o·mous” exhibition


Trevor J. Brown has been an elusive character in the Northern Ireland art scene for the last 3 years but now he is set to return with a solo exhibition which will shock and excite art lovers across the country. "au.ton.o.mous" will be a one night only, must-see display in the Main Hall of the Merchant Hotel on the 19th November. Featuring over 40 oil paintings and watercolours, this exhibition will showcase pieces Trevor has been working on for the last three years.

The show will be opened by national treasure Christopher Biggins who, on recently viewing Trevor’s work, made a quick trip over to visit his studio. Since then a firm friendship has developed and when asked to host the evening the actor was more than happy to show his support.

As a self taught painter Trevor J. Brown’s natural talent is undeniable. He sold his first painting at the tender age of 13, acknowledging then that he was painting because he “couldn’t help himself”. Growing up in a creative house obviously influenced him and, although no-one in his family shared the same passion for art, he recognised that his parents were always making things by cooking, crafting or gardening.

Trevor has always had an interest in the classical style of painting, particularly enjoying the detail of the Elizabethan era. It is this fascination with skilful technique which has clearly shaped his own work and he has successfully encapsulated the detail that he loves so much in each of his pieces, detail which cannot fully be appreciated until you see the work in person.

While the style of his art is based in a historical context, the content and inspiration are very much attached to the present, coming from situations, surroundings and encounters which occur in his own life.

For the "au.ton.o.mous" exhibition Trevor is promising his fans something completely different to anything he has produced before. In fact there is such a vast difference between this work and his previous exhibitions that he anticipates a certain level of shock from his audience. 

“I approached this exhibition with the attitude that I wanted to push my skill, imagination and emotions as far as possible to see what was there and what I could produce. Each painting started with a feeling and developed from there. There are some uncomfortable aspects to the work and they do touch on difficult topics but this all comes with the involvement of reality.”

Trevor chose the title “au·ton·o·mous” for the exhibition because of its meaning of being out on one’s own and he believes that it connects well with what he was aiming to do during the three year production period. At the time he was keen not to let go of the challenge that painting had once provided for him.  The work on display is the result of his journey to rediscover this aspect.

The oil paintings and watercolours in "au.ton.o.mous" are undoubtedly some of the most exciting work to come from Northern Irish artist in recent years. With his use of bright, bold colours and theatrical style Trevor J. Brown's pieces have an instant "wow" factor which simply cannot, and should not, be ignored.

Each painting and the characters within them tells their own story. They combine classical style with modern relevance, establish reality within a surreal setting and incorporate twists which demand thought and attention. The display will easily hold the imagination of the viewer for hours, allowing them to immerse fully in creating their own interpretation. Trevor’s enthusiasm for art and impressive attention to detail is evident throughout the body of work and it is sure to challenge its viewers in the same way in which it has challenged him.

“With each painting I set out to create something that would be difficult to walk past. Of course I want people to like my work but I also wanted to include quite dark elements behind the colourful first impressions. I am excited that people will get to see the work soon.”

The creation of this exhibition has, by his own admission, taken Trevor J. Brown on an “emotional rollercoaster” and he hopes that this will be recognised. His personal guarantee to visitors is that he has put absolutely everything he had into each painting.

It is fair to say that the “au·ton·o·mous” exhibition will represent a true gem in the Northern Ireland art calendar this Autumn and the 19th November should be a date recorded by everyone who appreciates their art with a twist.

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